“I really don’t want Grace. I don’t understand it.”
I remember spitting those words out two months ago. I remember being overcome with this bitterness that I was given this so-called Grace thing without ever asking for it. Without being able to earn it. I had no way of ever being worthy of it or of the giver of Grace itself. I really hate the fact that I cannot ever do anything to even come close to being deserving of it. If that’s the case, then I don’t want it.
I feel like that is the case with a lot of things in my life. I don’t understand them and then I grapple with them for a while. I start to doubt my worth, my whole life and all of my energy goes into trying to come to terms with these big ideas that I start to go a bit crazy on the inside. I’m a big thinker. I’m an over-analyzer. I like to blame it on the fact that I am both an INFP and an ENFP. My friends like to joke it’s because my imagination is too big that I cannot fathom things that are reality and faith-based.
I think this is more a matter of the paradox within us all.
I don’t say that to try to sound smart. I don’t say that to be annoying and I really wish all my posts didn’t swing back to the big man upstairs, I really do, but so much of my life has been centered around him this past year. All of the whispers I send up to the grey skies and starry climes are all to Him.
So yeah, I think the problem lies within the problem of the human paradox. We are of flesh (& sin because of that chick everyone knows as Eve. I don’t really blame her. I sympathize with Eve every time I read Genesis) and we are of the Spirit (I’m thanking Jesus for this one. He died and rose again and breathed the Spirit into us all with the idea of baptism).
It’s hard for me to think of myself as of the Spirit. I really don’t think I am one who is “oh so holy” and I’m not one who spends daily time in the word. But I do think prayer is very important, I would stake my entire life on prayer. So I get that we are of the Spirit. I get that it dwells inside each of us. I know the new covenant. I love Jesus Christ and follow his commandment to love the best I can.
But I am also of this world. I can comprehend this. I can feel this inside my being every time that I walk outside and see creation. I can sense my flesh and sinful nature every time that I think to myself and get caught up in insecurities. I know that I am sinful and that I need new mercies every morning. I am not one who thinks herself above the elements of the enemy and this world.
I listened to a sermon yesterday and it was talking about the Garden of Eden and Eve & Adam. It had a lot of really great things but my mind keeps jumping back to one thing that Tim Keller touched on. He was talking about sinning and how Eve taking the apple was sin, but her intention was also sin. That when we think “Should I or Shouldn’t I do this?” Just thinking about acting upon a sinful thought or contemplating whether or not to partake in a sinful act is sin itself as well.
And that got me thinking: How many times a day do I think of sinning?
How many times do I sit there and think, consciously or subconsciously, should I do this? Should I say this? And then how many more times do I act out on those thoughts? How much more Grace do we need if we are constantly in a struggle against our own minds?
I am so much more a Giver than a Taker.
I think my Grace problem stemmed from there. I want to give, give, give to you. I want to make sure that your needs are met. Make sure that Your heart is okay. Don’t you worry about my heart, that comes later. But how about you? Are you good? Are you feeling Adequate tonight? I hope so.
I pour myself into people. I let that get toxic too. I pour into people so much sometimes they become idols. And sometimes, me taking care of them becomes an idol. I do idolize Nurturing someone. I have learned that this past month.
But if you turned around and said “Here Court. Take this. Take this as a gift.” I would try with all my might to politely decline you. I don’t deserve that from you. I don’t think of myself as worthy of gifts. Not in the depressed “I’m not worthy of this” but in the toxic “I didn’t think anyone noticed me. Let me stay in the background” kind of way.
My Grace problem is because I cannot accept things easily.
I don’t actually struggle with the idea of Grace. I am quite blessed and elated with the idea of Grace. I know I don’t deserve it. I know the costs of a gift that big and mighty and powerful.
But I am unclenching my fists.
I am opening my palms.
Hear my prayer Giver and Taker of All Things: Help me to love. Help me to see you. Help me to extend the same Grace you give us to myself. Help my heart to say, with all the groanings and moanings of the Spirit, Thank you for Grace. I am blessed because you gave.
James 4:6 “But He gives more Grace.”